I had migraine today. It sucked.
I cancelled my trip to Glasgow to go to the Art  Fair, which meant having to  tell the person I was going to meet that I couldn’t make it, I hate having to cancel plans. I know the migraine arrived uninvited and there’s nothing I can do about it, but I still felt like a flake. Having sent the message that I wouldn’t be there, I felt able to take a migraine pill and went to bed. There was no way I could take it and then go out because they make me drowsy. Probably that’s the best thing about them. I know pill popping isn’t the answer, but as I lay there contemplating the alternative, which involved sharpened six inch nails and a hammer, I thought it best to take the least messy option. One day I might take inspiration from Frida Kahlo and paint my pains.

Feeling nauseous, I fell asleep. Hurrah. A little while later I woke up because the dogs were barking at the sound of the doorbell, and I heard my husband take in a delivery for me, from Tuffnell Glass.
So, I was lying in bed, feeling horrible, knowing that there was a glass order waiting for me downstairs. Now that is torment! Also, when Tuffnell’s send out an order, there’s usually a sweetie in it somewhere. So I lay in bed wondering what kind of sweet it was, and looking forward to it only fractionally less than the glass.
I’ve got a sample pack of Northstar Precision 104 glass, I’m looking forward to seeing how that works out, I’m likely to be unable to resist giving it a little go this evening. Mind you, I’m having trouble using the computer because of mild tunnel vision, so why I think I’m going to fire up the torch, I don’t know.

I’ve been making lots of new beads, and have even been disciplined enough to make sets. I seem to have found a way to do this successfully, the main aim being to make repeats of beads in size, shape and design. Sounds so simple doesn’t it? I’ve booked a table for the Ayrshire Art & Craft Fair in Troon on 12th July, 9th August, 13th September, and 4th October, so I have to dive into The Shed of Destiny and spend hours playing, hurrah, hurrah, hurrah! People ask me if bead making is a ‘hobby’. No, it isn’t. My mum came up with a good word, she’s German, so when I translated it as ‘obsessed’ she said, ‘no, worse than that’, ‘what?’ I asked, astonished, ‘there’s something worse than being obsessed?’ we figured out that the word she was looking for is ‘possessed’, which I think is a fair description. I came to the conclusion many years ago, that when I honour my creative urges, they are my friend and I feel content, and when I ignore them and don’t go with the flow, I am their enemy and feel unhappy. Soon I hope to find work that brings in a regular income, and am quite concerned about how that might impact on my beading time. I’d hate to be rich but unable to follow my heart, I’d rather be poor and able to go into my shed and make glass beads.


This is Mr.Snake, (such an original name) he turned up one night right out of the flame, and I was quite surprised to see him there, and then, a few days later, through my own careless handling, I broke the tip of his tongue off.
I still love him though, imperfections and all.

sunny sunday

My friend Rose was here for the weekend, she travelled up all the way from the south of England, which I appreciated. We mentioned a couple of times that I would do a bead making demo in the short time that she was here, but on Saturday it was so cold and wet (and the boiler had given up the ghost on Friday) that I wasn’t feeling too enthusiastic about it as The Shed of Destiny is a bit basic when it comes to heating. Brr!
I always worry a bit if I don’t fancy making beads, I think ‘Oh no… the passion and interest have waned, I’m a fraud…’ but I know myself well enough and the moment does comes round again, suddenly I just can’t wait to get in there and fire up.
That’s how I woke up on Sunday morning. The Shed was calling to me, and Rose and I didn’t have to run the gauntlet of a high wind between front door and Shed door (for a change) so off we went over a few puddles.
I demonstrated the making of a few beads, then Rose had a go and managed a well balanced bead, I was very pleased for her, but she wasn’t bitten by the bug (this time) and I soon found myself back in the hot seat, during which some unexpected but welcome beads emerged.
It was a real treat to make beads with such a great (and patient) friend by my side, thanks Rosie!

Minnie Mandr’elle and the Shed Of Destiny

Everyone’s got a blog (well, almost everyone), and it seems that hardly anyone keeps a hand written diary anymore. I used to, and now I don’t. Arial is my own personal font, it’s more familiar than my own handwriting. If I try to write as much as a birthday card by hand, my fingers ache by the time I’ve finished, and I am always surprised by what comes out of the end of the pen, ‘Oh look! That’s my writing!’. Blogging is the modern journal keeping, and the great thing about it is the word processing aspect. I have a beautiful leather bound gilt edged journal, it remains as blank as the day I bought it, about six years ago, I couldn’t bring myself to ‘spoil’ it by writing in it. I like being able to change things around without using an eraser, and lots of sprightly arrows redirecting sentences. Hence easy conversion to blogging.
What I don’t understand is the urge to jump in and put myself out there with the rest of the world. I mean, who reads this stuff anyway?
So…I’m setting up this website. Occasionally I know what I’m doing, then things get a bit fuzzy and I’m lost. Right now I want to upload some photos to the shop, but realised that I need to compare actual bead colours with the colours that show on the site, because I don’t want to misrepresent my work. So, I thought I’d take a break and do something that comes relatively easily to me, namely writing.

A mandrel is the steel rod around which one wraps the hot glass that eventually becomes the bead. On removal of the bead, there is a hole where the mandrel was. My nickname is ‘Min’, I love alliteration, I thought Minnie Mandr’elle was fun, and as for The Shed, that’s where I make my glass beads. Yesterday I went into it with the intention of taking a picture of my work space, because I appreciate seeing photos of other lampworker’s studio’s on their websites, but it would have made such a dull photo I wondered who’d want to look at it. Maybe I’ll revise that decision soon.
Should I explain the ‘Destiny’ part?
I’ve wanted to make glass beads for AGES and ages and ages. I’m finally doing it, and I feel as if I’ve found my place in the world of creativity. There’s nothing else I want to do more than make beads out of glass. I am so happy to know what I want, it’s taken a long time to get here, and it feels good. It is my destiny for sure (I think).